It can be hard to stay healthy as a young adult, let alone as a senior. Staying healthy has different components to it, like what we eat and how we exercise, but we’re going to focus on healthy snacks.
The question is should a seniors snacking be any different than the snacking of someone from a younger generation? The answer is yes. A seniors snacking should be different than a younger persons snacking because seniors appetite tends to decrease and experience a change in eating habit patterns caused by a variety of issues seniors face.
Older people generally pick at their meals more and may snack in smaller quantities during the day. This is how unhealthy snacking occurs. As we age our health can be more sensitive to certain types of food such as convenience food, ready-made snacks, and fast food. These kinds of foods have bad types of sugars, fats, and are high in carbs which all play a part in the nutrition issues of seniors.
Senior Snacking Suggestions
Nuts are a great source of antioxidants but you want to get the kind that are unprocessed that do not have any salt. The best types of nuts to eat include pecans, walnuts, Brazils, hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds. You can get creative and have some on top of your yogurt but be careful, they can be fattening so eat small amounts at a time.
Raw seeds contain a high amount of minerals and vitamins. The best type of seeds to help your immune system is pumpkin seeds. They are loaded with crucial minerals, zinc, and help maintain a healthy immune system. Flaxseed is great for stabilizing hormones in those who are in their 50’s and they can even decrease hot flashes by 60 percent.
Take a Dip
Raw vegetables and crackers are a great, and healthy, combination with hummus. The Mediterranean version of hummus is great because it has lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and chickpeas.
From a health stand point, brown beats white. Brown rice, noodles, and brown rice cakes are better for you than white versions because they are higher in B vitamins which urge your body to release increased energy from the kinds of food you eat.
Avocados give you glowing and younger looking skin. It helps keep moisture in it because they are jam-packed with vitamins A and E.
Cherry tomatoes are great for snacking. They’re juicy, small, high in the antioxidant lycopene which is an anti-aging agent, and they taste great. People that have a diet with a high amount of lycopene in them are 48 percent less likely to have a heart attack than someone who doesn’t have as much.
Stick to Celery
Not only are celery sticks a quick and healthy snack, but they are high in vitamin C and has shown to help with cholesterol, hypertension, and helps you sleep better.
All you need to do is cut them up and they’re ready to eat. They are great for lots of kinds of dips like guacamole and hummus. They’re high in vitamins A and C and have more antioxidants than green peppers.
If you can, get a Greek yogurt that has probiotics in it because they will help your body’s digestion. Obviously the plain and unsweetened kinds are the healthiest but you can add berries or chopped nuts for additional nutrients.
Prunes not only stimulate a healthy nervous system but protect your heart as well. You only need a handful of prunes as a delicious snack and they also help you feel fuller longer.
Drinking even just one cup of herbal tea helps to clean out your body. Dandelion teas helps flush out the toxins in our bodies to exit through our kidneys.
Seniors’ snacks should also be low in salt. Snacks that are high in sodium tend to increase blood pressure. Snacks that have lower sugar amounts are also clearly healthier and aim for snacks that are made with healthy oils like sunflower, flaxseed, peanut, olive, and safflower. Don’t eat processed oils or anything that has “hydrogenated” oils.
About the author
Alyx Braze is a freelance writer who specializes in San Diego rehabs and has a passion for helping the elderly.
Image by avlxyz on Flickr.